CIVC warns Apple over ‘Champagne’ iPhone5th September, 2013 by Lucy Shaw
The Champagne bureau is gearing up for battle with electronics giant Apple after it was leaked that the company is to release a “Champagne”-coloured iPhone.
Last month, photos and a video showing the new pale gold-coloured iPhone 5S were leaked online.
The Comité Interprofessionel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) has warned Apple not to call the colour of the phone “Champagne”, insisting that the French sparkling wine boasts a variety of different shades.
“Champagne doesn’t have one single colour, so we can’t say that a ‘Champagne’ colour exists,” Charles Goamaere, the CIVC’s legal director, told the L’Union l’Ardennais newspaper.
“Therefore, any company wanting to use the name ‘Champagne’ would be doing so only to attract all the benefits that surround the label,” he added.
Apple has yet to officially confirm that the new shade will be christened “Champagne”, but an unnamed source told technology website AllThingsD that the name will go ahead.
The CIVC has an impressive track record in banning companies from unlawfully trading off the Champagne name.
Fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent was forced to quash plans of a perfume called “Champagne” while Perrier is no longer allowed to refer to itself as the “Champagne of mineral water”.
“In almost all cases, we’ve been vindicated,” Goamaere told the paper.
While using the name “Champagne” to describe anything other than sparkling wine from the French region is banned by most countries, American law is more flexible.
It prohibits the term Champagne for newer sparkling wines but allows it for those produced before 2006, on the condition that their origin is featured on the label.
Apple is expected to present the new iPhone at a media event on 10 September.
The CIVC is awaiting official confirmation of the colour name before it takes any action.